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Butterflies, Sci-Fi, and John Keats

Cupid and Psyche First Kiss

On this episode we take a detour from the four Hawthorne Sci-Fi stories to explore a critical symbol in literature and science fiction: the Butterfly. That's right, the butterfly. I'll be telling you the myth of Cupid and Psyche and reading the poem "Ode to Psyche" By John Keats. By the end of this episode you will have a better understanding of how symbols can be used by a master storyteller to add to a story, the similarities between symbols, allegories, metaphor, simile and analogy, and where specific symbols originated. This may sound like a boring discussion about an academic subject. I hope, however, that I have taken examples from literature and poetry and shown you how these can improve you life, enrich your readings, and shape your consciousness. For, no art more than literature can do all of these, and in so short a span as a few power lines of prose.

Here are a few of the paintings I discuss in the podcast:

In the story Psyche is brought to a hill to be married to the monster. Notice how her marriage procession looks like a funeral procession.

In the story Psyche is brought to a hill to be married to the monster. Notice how her marriage procession looks like a funeral procession.

Here is the marriage between Psyche and Cupid. Notice the butterfly wings.

Here is Psyche's marriage to Eros (cupid). Notice the figures with butterfly wings above the couples heads.

Here is Psyche spying on Cupid. In this scenario we start to see Cupid represented as a small boy. In ancient Greece, Cupid was generally described as a beautiful young man. Again, notice Psyche's wings.